In what must be one of the most shameful and disgusting incidents involving lawmakers ever, two BJP lawmakers hurled choicest and unprintable abuses at each other and then one of them hit the other with his shoe, prompting the other to land some heavy blows on him. They were separated by the policemen present but they continued to abuse at each other.
The incident took place between MP Sharad Tripathi and MLA Rakesh Baghel at the District Coordination Meeting in Sant Kabir Nagar, some 200 kilometres from the state capital Lucknow. The immediate trigger for the altercation was a dispute over giving credit in a road project. Sharad Tripathi questioned Baghel why his name was missing from the foundation stone of a local road project. Baghel said that since he was the local MLA it was his responsibility and hence his name was there. When Tripathi argued, Baghel said he could talk to whoever he wanted but his name will not be included. Hearing this, Tripathi got infuriated and started shouting. Then, Baghel asked Tripathi to ask the questions “to his shoe”. Tripathi immediately took off one of his sandals and started hitting Baghel in full view of the other party leaders, state officials, security personnel and the media.
Lawmakers are supposed to be respected citizens. But such is the electoral system in India that all kinds of shady characters become leaders and use their money and muscle power to rise to positions of authority, including becoming members of parliament. They maintain a façade in public which hides their actual character. But once in a while this is exposed, as the above incident shows. To fight like cats and dogs using footwear and hurling abuses in full public view, knowing well that everyone present had a mobile phone on which their ‘histrionics’ could be recorded, showed that they care little for niceties. It also showed that neither of them deserved to be where they were. The BJP should take strict disciplinary action against both of them.